The weather forecast called for a cloudy morning. When I was about to set out on a walk in Brightwood Park, I was excited to see the sun working out and breathing heavily.
The fog was heavy and persisting in the park. It created an ideal condition for a stage show of the wonder of nature. The rays of the rising sun and their reflections in the pond, propelled by the gentle breeze, generated a special effect like someone was spinning a wheel next to the stage light.
Walking in the woods, I saw a log with an artistic pattern drawn by fungus. The pond appeared extremely calm and peaceful.
A very large number of geese were stranded in the pond by the fog. They wandered around and waited desperately for the sky to clear. A lone goose flew by and dropped its landing gear. After making a circle, it landed in the water with a splash, and honked loud as if it was making a reconnaissance report. Before long, the squadrons responded by starting their engines and took off in formations, by leaving the fog and the ducks behind.
Have a nice day.
On the second day of the new year, I went to Brightwood Park to watch the ducks, with special attention to the ring-necked ducks. The three new visitors seemed to get used to my presence. One even started to make faces at me. I wonder if this was the big brother of the trio, as the guy was always in the front when the trio marched into the water. They partied well with the mallard ducks. One pair of mallard ducks diligently pursued the new friends in the pond. The ring-necked ducks searched for food by diving. Watching them diving was like appreciating a water ballet performance.
The geese and the mallard ducks were probably conditioned by people feeding them here and other places. Upon seeing me, they swam and even flew toward me. Watching the movements I felt like a VIP examining a parade of navy fleets equipped with aviation forces. They even performed exercises of rescue missions from an ice trap.
I was thankful to the Creator and all the parties in the parks for bringing me so much fun at the opening of the new year. I hope you and others can enjoy the parks as much as I do. Have a wonderful 2023!
I would like to share with you a few sets of photos taken on the first and the second days of the year. As a highlight, the dramatic changes of weather in the past few days not only created golden opportunities to capture many rare beautiful scenes of Westfield parks, but also started to attract various kinds of migrating water fowls.
I was very lucky to catch the moments of the rising sun's rays shining through the woods. The reflections in the misty pond were spectacular. In only a few minutes the fog burnt out and the rays disappeared.
I chased the fog and it kept running -- past the willow bush and the dam. The sky was clear and the air was amazingly fresh and pleasant. Standing in the park and appreciating everything there, I felt surrounded by a symphony played by an orchestra of angels.
Recently, the large pond of Brightwood Park became a popular stop-over place for many migrating geese. Watching them can be fun as, sometimes, they behave like humans. For example, while crying and looking around for a friend, one goose almost hit the butt of a diving fellow. Feeling as if he had been rudely treated, the goose got mad and kept screaming at the other. Not sure if this was a male-female chasing episode.
I was also happy to see a trio of male ring-necked ducks looking like floating cotton balls. Watching them carefully I found a unique character in each face, like siblings acquiring a little bit of each part from their parents to form individual identities. These ducks are more timid compared to mallard ducks and Canada geese.
Before Christmas, the temperature dropped sharply from close to 60 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, in our area, although there was strong wind, the wind did not bring in snow. I bundled myself up and headed for Brightwood Park in the mornings. When I left home at sunrise, I was surprised to see a blue jay. The geese seemed to enjoy being in a tub decorated by gold mosaic tile brought by the morning sun.
Thick ice formed underneath the bridge of the dam, while the water was still running through.
Near the Fanwood Avenue entrance, a few ice spikes appeared on a wood log, as if the wood was developing a running nose. Not sure if I could ask it to take a Covid test.
After being in Boston for a week, when I took a walk at Brightwood Park yesterday I found the foliage almost over. Two turtles were still enjoying the sunlight around noon time. Judging by the difference in the look of their shells, I guessed there was a parent (or grandparent) accompanied by a youngster.
A few maple leaves were still hanging on a tree, Four were dancing in the wind as a group. Another one dressed in a darker color was doing a solo. The audience happened to be a few remaining leaves on an oak tree.
On the trail leading to Fanwood Avenue entrance, two years ago I found on a slope a tiny patch of orange-colored lichens-like plant. I was happy to see the plant still being there . The fallen leaves surrounding formed a frame for the beautiful little creature.
On the back trail, berries of red and purple colors could still be found. I was wondering if the birds decided to spare them for my entertainment.
A hole on an oak tree near the dam and bridge caught my attention. After peeking inside I was amazed by the decorative fungi on the wall and a clean and neat wooden floor, looking like a place ready for rent. Not sure who had been living there but sure enough, the residents kept the place very well.
Here is what I saw at Brightwood Park the other afternoon and evening.
Today I came to the park in both early morning and the afternoon. The ducks were more active than usual and kept dancing. A few geese were watching and feeling itchy. So was I.
A chipmunk had its mouth and pouches full, looking exactly like the characters in Disney cartoon movies I watched in childhood.
An artist came and sat at the shore working on her water painting. She did not realize that her presence made the park another nice piece of artwork.
The last photo in this set was actually an image of a small piece of rock in the parking lot. I found it intriguing and resembling the air view of rocky mountains that I gazed at on my previous flights to the West Coast.
The pollinator garden by the parking lot is doing very well. Even when nibbled on by the deer, the plants are like an assembly line and put out new flowers everyday. Today I think I found another secret to explain why the garden remains so pretty: a squadron of bumble bees are stationed here to guard the flowers.
The reflections of the woods and the change of the leaf colors are like an artist's oil paintings. As a believer of creation, not only I know who the artist is but also where to find Him. Brightwood Park is not only my favorite place to meet Him but also provides a preview of a better place in eternity.
After the drought this past summer, the number of birds in the park significantly declined. A small herd of mallard ducks became the main residents here. I was excited to spot a guest this morning; a blue heron.
On my way out, I was paused by the noise of pecking in the crown of a tall tree. I tried hard to locate the source. By tracking the motions I found a male downy woodpecker. In a moment, the bird came down from his workplace and stood almost in front of me. While I appreciated the bird's courtesy of greeting me, I noticed that this little fellow must be tired after getting up early and working hard, because he dozed a few times.
Although it was a rainy day, the absence of blue sky did not compromise the beauty of the autumn in Brightwood Park. Everything appeared refreshed. Tree leaves floating in the pond formed artistic patterns or as worn in fashion shows.
A bush and its reflection in the pond looked like a human ear. I was reminded of a pair of statues located at the entrance of the Molecular Biology Institute of UCLA, the building where I did my graduate work. Before the name "Anthropomorphic Echoes" (http://www.publicartinla.com/UCLAArt/benoff.html) was released, everyone called them "strange ears". After the "ears" were first dedicated, in a few days they melted down under the warm weather of Southern California. It then took a while for the artist to figure out a material which allowed the statues to stay intact and straight. Now after 40 years the statues are still there.
I was wondering if I could name the bush here "Brightwood Echoes".
If you were unable to come to the park because of the weather or because of the distance, I hope the photos shared here brought nature to you wherever you are.
Have a wonderful week. Chuan-Chu
I would like to share with you two additional sets of photos. One set was from October 8 and has the full moon with Jupiter in its vicinity. One of the photos is a close-up of Jupiter. Another photos has both the moon and Jupiter.
Some neighbors and friends asked me what happened to my summer because I had not shared photographs of Brightwood. Although I did take a couple vacations, I still carried out my park ranger duty when I was home. I was just too busy to get organized. Here are a few sets of pictures taken in August.
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.